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Stagehands give strike OK

Nederlander contract unanimously ratified

The stagehands union rattled its sabers at a Sunday meeting and voted unanimously to authorize its leadership to call a strike against Broadway theaters.

The old contract between IATSE’s Local One and the League of American Theaters & Producers expired Aug. 31.

Last month, in a break with the league, the Nederlander Organization negotiated its own contract with the stagehands of the Alliance of Intl. Theatrical Employees. At the union’s Sunday meeting, that contract was ratified unanimously by the membership. The Nederlanders own nine Broadway theaters, including the Minskoff and the Gershwin.

Sunday’s vote on the League contract gives the Local 1 executive committee authorization to call a strike at its discretion.

Such authorizations rarely result in a strike. Earlier this year, the membership of Actors’ Equity voted to authorize a strike when its negotiations with management bogged down. Such an action never materialized. The thesps’ contract with the league eventually was agreed to and ratified.

The most recent legit strike occurred in March 2003, when the musicians union shuttered 17 Broadway musicals for four days.

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